VC Director @ University of Illinois-Chicago in Chicago, IL

The Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) empowers people to jumpstart their tech careers or companies in Chicago. Led by the University of Illinois System in partnership with some of the world’s top research institutions, DPI does three things centered around economic development: tech talent development for high-demand tech jobs; applied research and development; and building a stronger tech ecosystem. DPI prepares students and workers to step into high-demand tech jobs. It also builds research teams and matches them with new funding. With state investment and a new innovation district in development, DPI has the resources to attract, develop and leverage the most ambitious people and companies the region has to offer – and keep them here.

The Discovery Partners Institute is seeking a highly qualified and innovative leader for its Ventures unit. The Director for New Business Ventures will be responsible for commercialization initiatives within the DPI that lead to new businesses that transform the economy of the city and state. Working with a number of public and private entity stakeholders, the Director for New Business Ventures will ensure that DPI’s portfolio of businesses have every opportunity for success. Current and future collaborators include State of Illinois, University of Illinois, City of Chicago, local and in universities as well as venture capital firms, professional service firms, local company incubators and accelerators and others as required. This role will ensure that DPI’s mission and goals are executed in all aspects of the design, establishment, development and operations of DPI’s Ventures unit.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Establish the Ventures Unit within DPI to build a portfolio of businesses, in first instance based on and leveraging the science teams in the Research Unit
  • Build and manage the organization to:
    • Work with the Research Unit to actively identify opportunities for building new businesses
      • Work with the science teams and their PIs to gain their support for the businesses
      • Draft the business plans
      • Develop access to capital
      • Mobilize the business specific staff (fulltime or not, employed or contracted) to establish and start the businesses
      • Form the businesses
      • Provide access to an ecosystem of professional and physical support for the newly formed businesses
      • Provide guidance and mentorship as appropriate
  • Design and implement the model for DPI participation in the businesses with the objective to fund and grow the Ventures Unit



  • Candidates must possess a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, science, business administration, finance or related field required. MBA or equivalent degree strongly preferred. A minimum of 15 years’ relevant experience building businesses required.
  • Knowledge of start-up company formation, financing, teambuilding, sales and marketing and resource development required.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and translate technical information and ability to synthesize and visually communicate complex data through reports and or dashboards desired.
  • Ability to analyze data and think critically, lead and motivate diverse teams, multi-task and manage complex processes and organize and plan complex projects desired.

This is a full-time, 12-month Academic Professional position. For full consideration, candidates must apply and submit a letter of application, resume, and names/addresses/phone numbers of three professional references by August 2, 2021 at

The System Office conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer of employment. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit

System Human Resource Services
(217) 333-2600

The System Office is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer dedicated to building a community of excellence, equity and diversity. The System Offices welcome applications from women, underrepresented minorities, individuals with disabilities, protected veterans, sexual minority groups and other candidates who will lead and contribute to the diversification and enrichment of ideas and perspectives.

If Interested, please apply here.

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